Handgun Caliber "Debate"?

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Replies

  • TugarTugar Senior Member Posts: 1,871 Senior Member
    edited August 2018 #32
    No, everyone doesn't want a .46. I get beat up enough in normal life, recoil is no longer fun for me to deal with. Diabetic Neuropathy and general malaise are ganging up on me. Recently I find the SR22 is a heck of a lot of fun to shoot and doesn't kick me around. If I feel froggy, Stingers on the indoor range lit it up nicely. 

    The biggest reason for 9mm is capacity versus weight. Carried a 1911 for years. 8+1 is about it unless you spend a ton of money, maybe 10+1 in a CZ-97B or a Sig 220. The Glock doesn't work for me so that's a nonstarter. 

    A simple M&P carries 17+1, and with modern ammo is very effective. A little +p isn't going to hurt it and those would start approaching 357 levels. The Gold Dot 124 Grain 9mm +p clocks around 1220fps. Not exactly a slouch. 
    Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.
    Winston Churchill
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 8,724 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    “Why did you shoot the deceased 6 times?!?”

    ”Because 5 wasn’t enough and 7 would have been too many .”
    And I thought it was because your revolver ran out of bullets 
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • DanChamberlainDanChamberlain Senior Member Posts: 3,384 Senior Member
    Then there's the guys who carry the .380! Really, it's not so much the caliber, it's convincing the bad guy that they're having a bad day.
    It's a source of great pride for me, that when my name is googled, one finds book titles and not mug shots. Daniel C. Chamberlain
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 26,180 Senior Member
    As I get older, I'm beginning to look at my Kel Tec PMR 30 .22 WMR as a viable carry piece. It's light, high capacity (30 rounds), decently accurate, and I think I could convince someone to leave me alone before the magazine was exhausted.
    If the U.S. Congress was put in charge of the Sahara Desert, there would be a shortage of sand in under six months.



  • LMLarsenLMLarsen Senior Member Posts: 8,337 Senior Member
    tennmike said:
    As I get older, I'm beginning to look at my Kel Tec PMR 30 .22 WMR as a viable carry piece. It's light, high capacity (30 rounds), decently accurate, and I think I could convince someone to leave me alone before the magazine was exhausted.
    Another ShooTing magazine just published an article on .22WMR for personal defense. It would definitely cause a ‘threat actor’ to break off and seek painkillers...
    “A gun is a tool, no better or no worse than any other tool: an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that.”

    NRA Endowment Member
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 19,779 Senior Member
    tennmike said:
    As I get older, I'm beginning to look at my Kel Tec PMR 30 .22 WMR as a viable carry piece. It's light, high capacity (30 rounds), decently accurate, and I think I could convince someone to leave me alone before the magazine was exhausted.
    One of my dance sisters carries one - I certainly wouldn't wanna be on the receiving end of it!
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • SpkSpk Senior Member Posts: 2,284 Senior Member
    ...

    The old aphorism that a bullet's impact is no stronger than the impact against the physical being holding the gun is true...

    ...

    It's not only an aphorism -- it's Newton's Third Law of motion. With only a slight adjustment, it's a statement of force, counter-force pairs.

    Beware of false knowledge -- it is often more dangerous than ignorance.
  • SpkSpk Senior Member Posts: 2,284 Senior Member
    tennmike said:
    As I get older, I'm beginning to look at my Kel Tec PMR 30 .22 WMR as a viable carry piece. It's light, high capacity (30 rounds), decently accurate, and I think I could convince someone to leave me alone before the magazine was exhausted.
    Death by a thousand paper cuts is still death. I'm sure the .22 WMR would be much more effective than a paper cut.

    I think Dan Chamberlain has it right. It's convincing the bad guy they're having a bad day. To that end, I would never rely on pain compliance alone. (meth-heads, etc.)

    Hit your mark. Drill a hole, make it big and if you can introduce some remote wounding effects, so much the better. Repeat as necessary.

    But first hit your mark!

    Beware of false knowledge -- it is often more dangerous than ignorance.
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 10,305 Senior Member
    Interesting post, Kurt.  But why the "(sic?).  Its is possessive of "it."  "It's" is is a contraction of "it is."

    Taking the place of Sam.  My choice is what I'm carrying, anything from a .32 acp to a .45 acp.  My carry choices are many and largely subjective since I've been toting for 50 years and never needed a civilian situation.
    Not too many problems you can't fix
    With a 1911 and a 30-06
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 26,180 Senior Member
    BigDanS said:
    I shot a 75 lb boar in the head  twice with a .40 S&W factory Silvertip from 15 ft and it did not die. Once between the eyes and the other just left and down.  Placement...  Coup de gras behind the head.

    D
    The sweet spot on the front of a hogs head is fairly small. Too far forward and the bullet goes into the roof of the mouth. Too far towards the top and the bullet won't penetrate. That's with pistol rounds. A .308 or 30-06 will kill one with a bad head shot if it's facing you, though.

    First wild boar I ever shot treed me. I shot it at 27 steps away broadside and slightly angling away. Bullet hit behind right shoulder and exited in front of left shoulder. Boar turned on me and came at me. I fired 5 more rounds and lit a shuck up the small hickory tree I was sitting under. Hog expired shortly and I climbed down, on the OTHER SIDE of the tree and reloaded. I cocked the pistol and eased around the tree and kicked the hog to make sure it wasn't 'playing possum'. I went to where I shot it with the first round and there was a chunk of heart and a big glob of blood. I was using a .44 Mag. Ruger Super Blackhawk and 240 grain jacketed flat points. They did the job, but that hog was running on adrenaline. The other 5 shots? Four hit the front of the chest/neck, and one was a miss. I'm surprised I hit it 4 more times. I was a bit excited at the time. :D
    If the U.S. Congress was put in charge of the Sahara Desert, there would be a shortage of sand in under six months.



  • DanChamberlainDanChamberlain Senior Member Posts: 3,384 Senior Member
    On the other hand, a .45acp was used to kill a cape buffalo ...
    It's a source of great pride for me, that when my name is googled, one finds book titles and not mug shots. Daniel C. Chamberlain
  • Ken_S_LaTransKen_S_LaTrans Posts: 108 Member
    ...and on the other hand, I don't plan to ever face a cape buffalo in a homicidal frame of mind.

    38, 9mm, 40, 45 have all truly become "what difference does it make?" if you perform well and place premium defensive ammo in the right place.  The mythos of the 45 being the ne plus ultra in devastating stopping power that would remove limbs with peripheral hits and cause heart failure merely by flying near someone was never well deserved...and the truth is, no handgun ammo deserves that mythic and anecdotal reputation as a magic bullet.

    Was 45 ACP ball significantly better than 38 LRN and 9mm FMJ back in the days before modern defensive ammunition became readily available?  Absolutely.  It, along with the 44 Special and 45 Colt were the most effective rounds on the block simply because they chunked out a bigger hole with generally less chance of over-penetration than smaller, faster bullets such as the 9mm and 38 LRN.  Those rounds did deliver more trauma and permanent wound channels to a meat sack, and would generally cause more rapid exsanguination (death from blood loss), so they were more effective than the 9mm or 38 SPL in non-expanding offerings. 

    Now, as then, "knockdown power" is a myth because remember...if it will literally, and physically "knock down" the recipient....the recoil/energy of the round will also "knock down" the shooter.  It's that whole pesky physics thing about equal and opposite reactions.

    Along comes Lee Jurras and Super Vel.  He coupled JHP ammo with alchemy (better powder) and came up with some pretty amazing 9mm and 38 Spl ammo.  All of a sudden, the 38 and 9mm weren't so anemic and the 44 Spl, 45ACP, 45 Colt werent as awesome in comparison, though they were generally still better.  The big issue was that then, as now, most gun owners really aren't all that savvy or knowledgeable beyond what they hear from the dood next door who "got a lotta guns" or what they remember from a Dirty Harry movie.  (Remember, Harry used a "light special, like a 357 with wadcutters.  It gives me more control with a gun this size....").

    There was also the lack of wide distribution, financial backing, and the willingness (then as now) for many gun owners to exercise critical thinking, rather than critical emotion, or critical nostalgia and actually change to something that was working.

    Super Vel went away.

    Ammunition development kind of stagnated for a while and ball ammo with a hole drilled in it was called "premium hollowpoint ammo" and it would expand...or not...and it was still pretty dismal in the 9mm and 38, while 45 JHP would expand...or not...but even if it didn't, it still generally performed better than 9mm or 38.

    Then...ramp that **** up to 1986 and the dust up in Miami.  The real quest for true premium defensive ammo was on.  Manufacturers were in a literal race to put high quality, highly effective handgun ammo into the guns that went into holsters of cops and armed civilians.  Insert brand here...but a lot of it was leaps and bounds better than anything we had ever had.  Literally, there are too many to list individually...but, there was a metric shitload of good ammo out there and even a new, effective caliber that took the LE and civilian market by storm...the 40 S&W.

    So, okay....38, 9mm, 40, 45....all of them can be extremely effective calibers for self defense with modern, premium, defensive ammo.  Ammo technology over the last 10 years has even moved the 32ACP and 380ACP into the realm of "minimum caliber for self defense" that the 38 and 9mm used to inhabit.  Not all the way into the realm of effectiveness...but there are some "decent" loads available for the 32 and the 380.

    You will take particular notice that I have NOT mentioned the 357 Magnum, 10mm, 41 Magnum, or the 44 Magnum yet.  This is because though they are certainly devastating with good hits...the extreme vast majority of people I have seen try to use them over the last 40 or so years...can't.  They simply can't shoot them well, effectively, consistently, or without serious flinching.  Yeah yeah yeah..."I ain't recoil sensitive" or whatever...that pesky physics pops up again...and it tells us that the recoil of magnum calibers is significantly more than the 38, 9, 40, 45...and they are harder to control in rapid (or defensive) fire and that inability to deliver fast, accurate, effective hits is a serious impediment to their usage as a defensive caliber.

    For the above reasons....I don't consider the magnum calibers to be truly defensive choices.  You may carry one as a security banky...but unless you are one of the rare, trained, and practiced (not dirt shooting Bubba Gump Tacticool) shooter, then you better leave them in the safe and carry something with which you can truly gain a level of defensive competence.

    And the circle brings us back to the 38, 9, 40, and 45...they are all pretty much designed to do the same thing.  Be reliable, accurate, penetrate from 11-13" and deliver controlled expansion to about 45-50 caliber and leave a nasty permanent wound channel.  They all do it pretty well in premium defensive loadings.

    So....the debate?  Here is the definitive answer:  Pick one of those four, pick a reliable and accurate handgun, learn to actually shoot it and deliver accurate fire and get the hits you need...then FTW and anyone else's opinion.  As long as you can do all those things...no one else's opinion, including mine, really amounts to a hill of poop.
    ONLY THE INFERIOR CRY FOR EQUALITY
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 19,779 Senior Member
    B, bu, bu, but, but what about .25 ACP? :D
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • SpkSpk Senior Member Posts: 2,284 Senior Member
    On the other hand, a .45acp was used to kill a cape buffalo ...
    Don't forget the grizzly...

    Two backpackers, a man and woman, encountered a grizzly bear last Friday evening while hiking in the dense brush along the edge of Tattler Creek...

    The man, who was in the lead, drew a .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol when they heard a noise coming from the brush. When the bear emerged from the thicket and ran toward the other hiker, he fired approximately nine rounds in its general direction...

    The backpackers ran and hiked approximately a mile and a half back to the road,..

    Late in the afternoon, three rangers hiked into the site and found the bear dead in a willow thicket approximately 100 feet from the pistol casings. -- A Park Ranger's Life
    http://aparkrangerslife.blogspot.com/2010/06/grizzly-bear-shot-and-killed-by-hikers.html

    It's also useful on dirtballs if you do you're part...

    Get good hits on target!

    Beware of false knowledge -- it is often more dangerous than ignorance.
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,693 Senior Member
    I can comfortably practice with the .45 ACP in a full sized pistol, meaning that I can shoot 200-300 rounds before feeling fatigued, at which point my consistency starts falling off. Since accuracy practice is the most important thing to me, that is my choice in a full size pistol.

    But, since every day carrying in a hot climate is a major factor, especially as I get older, I mostly carry a subcompact. So, on the days that I feel young and strong, I carry a subcompact .45, which is somewhat of a handful in a subcompact. The rest of the time, I carry a 9mm subcompact, which is milder recoiling. These are about all I practice with, lately, because if I can maintain the fundamentals that make my pistol accuracy acceptable with a subcompact, it's easy to transition into a heavier platform. I like my .357's and 10mm a lot, but it takes more practice than I will stick with to maintain my insensitivity to recoil.

    If I perceived my threat level to be higher, I would accept the pain of carrying a full-sized, high capacity pistol, and practice more often. I did that for several years, even though it was uncomfortable.
  • 10canyon5310canyon53 Member Posts: 1,257 Senior Member
    zorba said:
    B, bu, bu, but, but what about .25 ACP? :D
    A friend of mine carries a .25 ACP.  His plan is to pull it out and make his escape while the bad guy is rolling around on the ground laughing.
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 3,745 Senior Member
    Does 25acp count as a quarter bore???
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 953 Senior Member
    When I do carry in the warmer months its either a small single stack 9mm or .45 ACP, or a .38/.357 pocket revolver.  Once heavy jacket season rolls around its a compact or full size 9mm or .45 ACP.  When I go camping in the U.P. (once a year) I take a G40 with a hot 180gr FMJ load as a truck gun.
  • LMLarsenLMLarsen Senior Member Posts: 8,337 Senior Member
    Bottom line: use whatever centerfire caliber you can reliably hit a 6” paper plate with three times from 15 yards in.
    “A gun is a tool, no better or no worse than any other tool: an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that.”

    NRA Endowment Member
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,729 Senior Member
    LMLarsen said:
    Bottom line: use whatever centerfire caliber you can reliably hit a 6” paper plate with three times from 15 yards in.
     Honest question, where did that standard come from? 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,165 Senior Member
    edited August 2018 #52
    LMLarsen said:
    Bottom line: use whatever centerfire caliber you can reliably hit a 6” paper plate with three times from 15 yards in.
    3 shots out of 4? 3 in 3 seconds?

    Just wondering what the full standard is.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 7,098 Senior Member
    One shot is not really in my mind.
    Keep shooting till they are no longer a threat, is.  Hence, "burn em to the ground," is another way of saying it.
    With movement and stress, it is a far from the typical range practice

    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • MichakavMichakav Senior Member Posts: 2,440 Senior Member
    Personally, I will take a 9 with many more rounds nowadays. The way things are going I figure I am more likely to experience a "shooter" scenario than a heads up one. Wouldn't feel under-gunned in a heads up and would want all I can get in the other. Pretty sure anyone here would take a 9mm into a fight regardless of what their favorite is.
  • BAMAAKBAMAAK Senior Member Posts: 4,309 Senior Member
    I never did well shooting pistols beyond 15 or 20 yds until I started competing.  I still don't if I stand there thinking about it.  But under stress of a timer and spectators seems to be a different story.  35 yds is max for USPSA but other type matches I've shocked myself out to as far as 75 yds.  There is something to be said about just doing it instead of thinking about it but I think you need solid fundamentals either way.
    "He only earns his freedom and his life Who takes them every day by storm."

    -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer and politician
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 953 Senior Member
    BAMAAK said:
    I never did well shooting pistols beyond 15 or 20 yds until I started competing.  I still don't if I stand there thinking about it.  But under stress of a timer and spectators seems to be a different story.  35 yds is max for USPSA but other type matches I've shocked myself out to as far as 75 yds.  There is something to be said about just doing it instead of thinking about it but I think you need solid fundamentals either way.
    If I really work at it, I can ring an 18" gong at 200m with my 629 DX Classic.  Not every time, but from a rest probably 75% and offhand maybe 30%.  The hold over is quite a lot though.
  • LMLarsenLMLarsen Senior Member Posts: 8,337 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    LMLarsen said:
    Bottom line: use whatever centerfire caliber you can reliably hit a 6” paper plate with three times from 15 yards in.
     Honest question, where did that standard come from? 
    My grey little head.  Works for me.
    “A gun is a tool, no better or no worse than any other tool: an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that.”

    NRA Endowment Member
  • LMLarsenLMLarsen Senior Member Posts: 8,337 Senior Member
    LMLarsen said:
    Bottom line: use whatever centerfire caliber you can reliably hit a 6” paper plate with three times from 15 yards in.
    3 shots out of 4? 3 in 3 seconds?

    Just wondering what the full standard is.
    No standard, just what I practice.  Rate of fire is as fast as I can accurately hit POA.
    “A gun is a tool, no better or no worse than any other tool: an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that.”

    NRA Endowment Member
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,165 Senior Member

    LMLarsen said:
    No standard, just what I practice.  Rate of fire is as fast as I can accurately hit POA.
    Okay, understood. 
    Overkill is underrated.
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,982 Senior Member
    Back in the day before we got those 9mm pistols,  Marines had some rapid and quick fire
    strings of shooting in the qualification course.

    WE had to shoot 5 rnds  in 15 sec or 20 sec depending if it was at 15 or 25 yds.

    Of course it was standard issue 1911s or S&W .38s.

    I shot a 1911 one time and thereafter used the revolver. It took
    7-10 sec shooting single action with the S&W .38 spl.



    A Veteran is someone that served in the Military, it does not matter where they served.
  • LMLarsenLMLarsen Senior Member Posts: 8,337 Senior Member
    My point is just that confidence is a huge factor in whether your sidearm/caliber of choice is ultimately effective.
    “A gun is a tool, no better or no worse than any other tool: an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that.”

    NRA Endowment Member
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